New fire safety scheme rolling out across Aberdeenshire after Moray success

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The aim of the partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association is to protect those most at risk from fire in their homes.

Hanover Partnership With SFRSCaption: (left to right) Mrs Jean Willets, new tenant at Taylor Court, Keith with Andrew Nicol and Russel Farquhar, SFRS community safety advocates.

An innovative partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association is to be rolled out across Aberdeenshire after its success in Moray since the start of the year.

Hanover is Scotland’s leading housing association for older people, with affordable, modern, and safe housing and services across the country. 

The partnership was created to protect those who are most at risk from fire in the home, with every new resident receiving a fire safety visit within 16 weeks of moving in.

Individual development housing managers will also identify existing residents who may be of higher risk in, or to, a fire, due to having a health issue, living alone, or living in a property which may be less easy to escape from.

Local firefighters will then carry out a home fire safety visit and check for fire hazards, such as having overloaded sockets and encourage good fire safety practice, such not leaving cooking unattended and ensuring televisions are switched off when not in use.

During the visit the firefighters will also encourage the resident to make a fire escape plan and will offer advice on what to do in an emergency.

Since the start of the year SFRS have carried out more than 130 fire safety visits to Hanover residents in Buckie, Elgin and Keith. The feedback from residents has been very positive and due to the partnership’s success, it will now be rolled out to Hanover developments across Aberdeenshire.

SFRS Group Manager, Ally Birkett, said: “We aim to ensure that those most at risk from fire are adequately protected and receive advice to prevent a fire occurring in their home.”

Rosie Menzies, Hanover’s Housing Officer for the North East, said: “Older people are more vulnerable to fires for a number of reasons, so it was really important to us to ensure we did all that we could to inform Hanover residents of the risks and help them live as fire consciously and safely as possible.

“Our partnership with SFRS has been going extremely well, the residents seem to enjoy the visits and I am looking forward rolling this initiative our across the whole of Aberdeenshire.”

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